Birds--General/owl houses


what is the best month for hanging a barred owl house?  Is it good to hang it up 15 feet, surrounded by other trees?

The box should be put up as early as possible, but not later than one month before nesting season. It should be mounted at least fifteen feet up in a large tree. I strongly suggest you place it seventy-five feet or more from any area where there will be significant human activity. The denser the canopy around the box, the better your chance of attracting a barred owl. Heat buildup in boxes exposed to direct sun can be a problem. Try to find a spot that will protect them from direct sun and consider adding vents to the top of the back panel. Raccoons are also a major threat to barred owl eggs and very young owlets. The following two measures will minimize the risk: (1) Complete your work in the fall and stay away from the tree. Raccoons look for food where they smell the scent of humans. (2) If raccoons are plentiful in your area, encircle the trunk of the tree with a sixteen inch band of aluminum flashing.
I have known people who put up owl boxes that were never occupied and others who attracted owls the first year. Your success will depend on nest placement and on the availability of homeless owls in your neighborhood. You can, however, be sure that the owls in your area will find it very quickly. Whether they move in next spring is another question. Good luck.  


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Roger Lederer


Any and all questions about WILD birds - not caged, domestic or poultry. Can answer questions about identification, taxonomy, behavior, courtship, plumage, flight, or anything else. Wild birds only, please.


Taught ornithology (the study of birds) at the university level for 30 years. Have written five books on birds, published 30 scientific articles, write a blog on birds, have the website, lectured to hundreds of groups on birds,and have traveled to 90 countries studying birds.

A variety of ornithological and conservation organizations.

Real Simple Magazine, Enterprise-Record, and several ornithological and ecological journals.

PhD in Zoology with emphasis in ornithology.

Awards and Honors
Professional Achievement Award, Jack Rawlins Chair of Environmental Literach.

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